Procedures such as cosmetic gum contouring are possible because of continued advancements with modern dental technology.
Gum contouring is a cosmetic procedure that is used to change the shape of your gums. Northside Dental can use this procedure to cut away any excessive gum tissue that is giving you a gummy smile or to restore gum tissue that has receded and is now exposing too much of your teeth.
Having a healthy smile is important not only for aesthetic reasons, but also because it affects your self-esteem, and your self-confidence. Procedures such as cosmetic gum contouring are possible because of continued advancements with modern dental technology.
The thoughtful and caring staff at Northside Dental share a common philosophy and that is to treat you as a person first, as a patient second. We appreciate the value of your overall health, your lifestyle, comfort, time, anxiety levels, and your budget. We will work in collaboration with you in the development and implementation of your personalized dental treatment plans. We also consider ourselves as an important element of your overall health program team. Call us today at 317-848-9838 to schedule your appointment or stop in at 15026 Greyhound Ct. Carmel, IN 46032.
Usually gum recession is caused by gum disease, but you could also experience gum recession from aggressive tooth brushing, taking a prescription drug, or even your genetics. Gum contouring is performed for therapeutic and medical purposes. If you are calling Northside Dental for an evaluation because you are experiencing gum disease, we will first examine you, discuss your treatment options, and then proceed to eliminate the actual disease. You may need a gum contouring procedure to restore your gums that have receded and are now putting the health of your teeth, roots, and jawbone at risk.
How Gum Contouring Works
An overgrowth of gum tissue can be corrected through gum contouring, sometimes called esthetic gingival recontouring. Northside Dental will start by administering a local anesthetic and then a laser or scalpel to shape a new, more uniform gumline. Reshaped gums can also often become healthier, since the pocket depths of spaces between the gums and teeth are made shallower and therefore easier to keep clean. The healing process is usually uneventful and can take a few weeks.
If simple gum contouring is not enough, we could go deeper with crown lengthening. In this procedure, part of your gum and some of the underlying bone is removed to change the anatomy of your teeth. Since this minor surgery involves altering bone and usually requires stitches, your recovery is typically longer.
Treatment of gum recession is usually accomplished by grafting your own gum tissue from a nearby tooth or part of the palate. We might also use highly processed, sterile donor tissue. Besides the improvement to your smile, correcting your gum coverage also protects your roots from tooth decay. The surgical site from a gum graft typically takes about six weeks to heal.
Proper Oral Hygiene Prevents Gum Disease
Gum disease can be avoided provided you simply practice good oral hygiene habits. Our oral hygiene team at Northside Dental can give you a refresher course. Though not a guarantee, if you adhere to the health industry suggestions, you can either reduce or eliminate your need for periodontal therapy:
- Brush your teeth twice daily and practice good brushing technique. In addition to brushing regularly, it is also important to brush effectively. We will help you with proper brushing techniques.
- Floss at least once a day. If you are someone who avoids flossing, we can suggest flossing alternatives, such as interdental brushes or floss picks.
- Understand your diet. One of the best ways you can prevent gum disease issues from developing is to avoid foods that are sugary or high in starch. If you enjoy soda or sugary beverages, try to use a straw to limit the exposure of sugar to your teeth. It is also beneficial to rinse your mouth with water following meals. By doing so you can dislodge food remnants, which, if left alone can create future tooth decay.
Schedule your regular dental exams. Gum disease is a perfect example of an unchecked dental issue that can result in advancing problems and the progression of decay. Schedule an exam at Northside Dental every six months and we can prevent these issues together from even developing.
The Healing Process following a Gum Contouring Procedure
Some gum surgeries can require you to wear a dressing over the surgical site for a week or two. You may experience some minor swelling, discomfort, or tooth sensitivity, but these symptoms will go away as your new gumline heals. We will ask you to avoid smoking, drinking alcohol and using a straw. Always follow Northside Dental instructions for brushing, using medication, or eating certain foods as you recover.
Your healing process will also depend on the type of tools we use to complete the procedure. If we use a scalpel for your gum contouring, sutures are necessary and there will be more irritation. Often, we will use a laser to treat the gums without cutting or sutures, decreasing your recovery time. You will experience some swelling and discomfort afterward. You can manage these by applying ice packs to your face for 15 minutes at a time and using an over-the-counter pain medication. There will be some diet restrictions. We will instruct you to stick with a soft diet of yogurt, soup, ice cream, pudding, etc. for a few days. If your gum contouring was performed using a scalpel, we will schedule a follow-up visit. We will examine the gums to determine if everything is healing properly. If so, we will let you know when you can return to your normal dietary habits. We might prescribe an antibiotic rinse to combat any potential infection, and when you do brush your teeth, you must do so very gently and carefully.
Is Gum Contouring a Cosmetic Procedure or are there Medical Reasons?
Gum contouring is for both depending on your reasoning. If you are seeing us at Northside Dental because you suffer from gum disease, we will first examine you to confirm the condition, discuss your options, and then work our plan to eliminate the disease. You may very well need a gum contouring procedure to restore gums that have receded. In a very real sense, gum contouring and grafting can help save your teeth.
While usually gum recession is caused by gum disease, you can also experience this from aggressive tooth brushing, taking a prescription drug, or even your genetics. In this case, as with gum disease, restoring your gum tissue may become necessary for your optimum oral health.
Of course, your gums may be healthy and you wish to pursue gum contouring because you have a gummy smile. At this point the procedure is indeed purely cosmetic.
Your Comfort and Your Care
The careful and proactive approach to your dental care is the biggest benefit when choosing Northside Dental. We will always do our absolute to work with your schedule in fitting in your appointments. We will also concentrate on working together to make sure your appointments go smoothly and quickly. Our goal is quite simple and that is to be your destination for all your preventative dental needs. We look forward to the opportunity to assist you in constantly maintaining your oral health with good preventative care. We will focus on gaining your trust as you enter our clinic. Call us today at 317-848-9838 to schedule your appointment or stop in at 15026 Greyhound Ct. Carmel, IN 46032.